The customer experience journey is now, more than ever, an integral component for business success in today’s world. Thanks to the increased prevalence of social media platforms, interactions from the customer experience, both positive and negative, can be expressed and shared instantly on very public forums.
As well as this, increasing levels of competition mean battles can be rarely won or lost on pricing strategies alone. Delivering an excellent customer experience across the entire customer journey is essential so we thought we’d cover a few essentials in achieving this.
Listen to your customers
This first one is a bit of a gimmie but you’d be surprised how often customers’ opinions are ignored when the whole experience itself centres around them. It’s easy to fall into a mindset of thinking you know more than your customers but there’s so much that can be discovered from their feedback that can’t always be anticipated.
Initiating genuine and honest conversations is the most direct way of understanding the positive and negative aspects of their experience. If for whatever reason, you’re not in a position to have those conversations with your customers then your Sales teams will be in a great position to convey an impression of their first-hand customer experience.
These insights in combination with online customer reviews, Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and EDM data will give you a wealth of knowledge from which to inform and base your customer experience strategy going forward. The more concerns and issues you can iron out and negate from the outset, the more seamless the overall journey will be.
Consider your marketing channels carefully
A really important part of delivering excellent customer experience is to ensure you’ve thought carefully about the marketing channels you’re utilising. There is an overwhelming number of options to choose from including your website, social media, SEO, content marketing, email marketing, PPC – the list goes on.
It’s natural to want to explore and take advantage of every one of these channels but the risk of throwing yourself at all of them is that none get done well. Careful consideration should, therefore, be given to which channels are most appropriate and most likely to deliver meaningful results.
It’s important to also consider how they might complement each other. If two channels are, for instance, targeting and engaging with the same audiences in similar ways then is committing time and money to them both a worthwhile use of resource?
Coordination is key
Another vital step in the process of delivering excellent customer experience is to ensure there is open communication within an organisation and a collective understanding of goals and the roles teams play in achieving these.
This can be easier said than done, even within marketing teams, let alone across entire organisations where teams are often distinctly segregated and siloed. This is a challenge and obstacle that needs to be overcome as it affects the customer experience on so many levels.
One big way it influences this is through the consistency and quality of messaging. This has to be aligned across every touchpoint the customer may come across. If the messaging is inconsistent and of variable quality across channels and services then a customer is far less likely to have enough trust in an organisation required to complete the journey.
The transitions between are equally important as well. If you create a strong EDM, for example, but fail to create a natural transition point on the website (if that’s the next step in the journey) then the motivation and momentum carried from that EDM will quickly be lost and that precious lead will disappear.
Customer experience doesn’t end with the sale
With so much emphasis on sales and revenue within modern organisations, you would be forgiven for thinking the customer experience concludes once a sale is captured. As many of you will no doubt appreciate, this is far from the case.
The post-sales experience is a crucial one and it’s imperative to follow-up with your customers to ensure expectations have been met and if not, find out why and how this can be remedied. Again, this transition should be a natural one that shouldn’t feel forced like a tickbox exercise. The interest here isn’t just to satisfy an expectation but to exceed it and ideally create loyal ambassadors for your brand.
You should also do your best to celebrate your customers’ successes with your products where you can, through social media or otherwise. This will only further a positive word of mouth and put you in a great position to attract and entice new customers to your brand.
Make customer experience a priority for your business
As you can see, there are some key factors to consider to ensure you deliver the best customer experience for your business. From listening to your customers and informing your own strategy to coordinating the messaging and selecting the right marketing channels – each step plays its part, contributing to the positive customer experience you want to achieve.